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November 24, 2020

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Alibaba CEO backs Net firm scrutiny

China’s move to draft rules aimed at preventing monopolistic behavior by internet platforms is “timely and necessary,” Alibaba Group CEO Daniel Zhang said yesterday.

Speaking at the World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, Zhejiang Province, Zhang said Chinese internet companies have moved to the forefront of the global industry with the help of government policies.

Zhang said the success of Chinese internet firms was due to government policies to encourage innovation.

“The industry’s development and government supervision is a relationship that promotes and relies on each other, so that platform enterprises cannot only develop well themselves, but also serve the sustainable and healthy development of the whole society,” he said.

“As a member of China’s digital economy, Alibaba is not only a participant and builder of China’s digital economy era, but also a beneficiary,” he said, adding that his company is “full of gratitude for this era.”

The annual two-day event is organized by the Cyberspace Administration of China.

Earlier this month the planned US$37 billion share market listing of Alibaba affiliate Ant Group was halted after regulators warned its lucrative online lending business faced tighter scrutiny.

Alibaba’s e-commerce marketplaces and payment services are also expected to face greater oversight under the draft rules published on November 10 by China’s market regulator, which said it wanted to prevent platforms from dominating the market or from adopting methods aimed at blocking fair competition.

Zhang is one of the few Chinese tech chiefs to appear publicly at the event after it was scaled down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Other chief executives such as Qualcomm Inc’s Steve Mollenkopf delivered remarks via video.


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